As mobile bookings and website visits increased by 46% and 28% year over year (HeBS Digital Research), it is critically important to determine and track the contribution of digital marketing campaigns to voice reservations. Due to lack of easy mobile payment options, and slower adoption of mobile ecommerce by some demographics (ex. baby boomers), a significant part of the traveling public still prefers to call the property when booking a hotel or resort stay as opposed to making the reservation themselves via a mobile device. In many cases travelers make voice reservations after being “sold on” the property via digital marketing campaigns and initiatives: search engine marketing, email marketing, display advertising, social media, etc.
Because of this, hoteliers can often underestimate the performance of their digital marketing campaigns that were driving revenues via the voice channel. For example, many hoteliers have seen trackable revenue from their email marketing campaigns plummeting over the past years. “Email no longer works!” – we have heard this from hoteliers numerous times. With over 70% of emails being opened and read on smartphones, and many travel consumers still reluctant or too lazy to do mobile reservations via the hotel booking engine and prefer to call, how do you track true revenues and returns from email marketing? What if you knew that over 91% of email marketing bookings actually came via the voice channel for the resort featured in this case study? Would this change your opinion about the potency of email marketing as a direct-response, revenue generation initiative?
So how should hoteliers calculate the true ROI from their digital marketing campaigns? By combining precise online and voice channel analytics, hoteliers can fully understand which digital marketing initiatives produce the highest returns.
The Case Study: Expecting the Unexpected
A Florida resort client was struggling to understand the true performance of their digital marketing campaigns, having experienced decreasing revenues from email marketing, paid search, its TripAdvisor Business Listing, etc. The resort was even considering halting some campaigns due to deteriorating revenue performance and ROIs.
When HeBS Digital and the reservations sales experts at NAVIS joined forces, we were able to reveal the ‘big picture’ and demonstrate that a significant percentage of digital marketing revenue was actually made through voice reservations, thus leading to a shift in marketing “thinking” at the resort, and to more accurate measuring of campaign performance and ROIs.
Based on digital marketing results for 2016 YTD, we found that over 41% of booking revenues from the property’s digital marketing campaigns actually came via the voice channel, including:
- Email Marketing: over 91%
- SEO: 55%
- Mobile devices: 55%
- TripAdvisor Business Listing: 54%
- Social Media: 36%
- SEM/Paid Search: 32%
Obviously, if the resort did not take into account voice channel contribution, many of the digital marketing campaigns would appear to be performing in an unsatisfactory fashion.
How does voice channel tracking work?
NAVIS’ online/offline voice tracking bridge relies on unique phone numbers – most typically toll-free numbers and dynamic coding on the website, which recognizes which campaign is responsible for the call and through interface with the property’s PMS tracks if the call results with bookings and revenue. In sum, it enables us to attribute booked revenue by phone to the originating digital campaign.
Here is a screenshot summarizing the case study, which helped our client understand true ROIs by integrating both online and offline conversion tracking:
About HeBS Digital
Founded in 2001, HeBS Digital helps hoteliers drastically increase direct bookings and lower overall distribution costs by deploying industry best-of-breed digital technology, consulting and marketing (www.hebsdigital.com).
The firm has won more than 400 prestigious industry awards for its digital technology, website design and marketing services, including numerous Adrian Awards, Stevie Award in the American Business Awards, W3 Awards, WebAwards, Magellan Awards, Summit International Awards, Interactive Media Awards, and IAC Awards.
A diverse client portfolio of top-tier major luxury and boutique hotel chains, independent hotels, resorts and casinos, franchised properties and hotel management companies, convention centers, spas, restaurants and bars, DMO and CVBs are all benefiting from HeBS Digital’s direct online channel strategy and digital marketing expertise. Contact HeBS Digital’s consultants at (212) 752-8186 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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